The Queensland corruption watchdog is investigating suspected criminal activity in the state’s legal profession after the solicitor who defended Daniel Morcombe’s killer pleaded guilty to nine fraud charges.
Tim Meehan is in custody after pleading guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday to the charges, which stem from the dishonest application of monies in excess of $30,000 belonging to his former employer Bosscher Lawyers.
The 41-year-old also falsified costs agreements and tax invoices, the Crime and Corruption Commission said.
A day before he was remanded in custody, Meehan changed his social media profile picture to an image of The Terminator brandishing pistols above a caption with the cyborg’s famous threat: “I’ll be back.”
The high-profile former solicitor had represented serial child sex offender Brett Peter Cowan, who was found guilty in March 2014 of the murder of schoolboy Daniel in 2003.
Following Meehan’s pleas, the CCC confirmed in a statement that broader investigations were continuing.
“The CCC is continuing to investigate suspected criminal activity within elements of the legal profession in Queensland,” the organisation said on Thursday.
“As this investigation remains ongoing and this matter is now before the court, the CCC is unable to comment further.”
The president of the Queensland Law Society, Christine Smyth, said it was a dark day for the profession.
“It is extremely disappointing when any lawyer abuses the trust and faith members of the public place in them,” she said.
Meehan surrendered his practising certificate shortly after Bosscher Lawyers notified the QLS of his criminal behaviour.
Meehan is expected to be sentenced over the string of serious offences in the Brisbane Supreme Court on July 13.